Replacement already found as Arsenal make five goals and 3 assist star top priority

Lille's Ivorian forward Nicolas Pepe celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Amiens and Lille at the Licorne stadium in Amiens, northern France, on August 26, 2018. (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS LO PRESTI/AFP/Getty Images)

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It’s been long mooted – but Arsenal are still leading the race to sign Lille’s Ivorian winger Nicolas Pepe, according to Mercato365 .

Pepe enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy last term, netting 13 times in 36 appearances.

The 23-year-old winger has been in scintillating form this season, which has made clubs across Europe stand up and take notice.

With striker Danny Welbeck facing a long spell on the sidelines, Pepe is on the market for a fee of around £27 million.

The Ivory Cost international has scored five goals and recorded three assists in eight Ligue 1 outings this season, which puts him on the top shelf when it comes to the division’s attackers this term.

It is understood Lille have already started lining up a replacement in Troyes’ Bryan Mbeumo, a 19-year-old who has five goals and three assists in Ligue 2 this season.

The Gunners have been posting striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out wide of late and are short on natural wide options after the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain left in recent years.

Pepe’s strike ratio at his previous club equated to 0.06 goals per game, a fraction of the 0.41 goals he’s averaging with his current outfit.

 

 

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